Sermon Manuscripts

Here at the Center for Excellence in Preaching we strive to be very ecumenical in both the resources we offer and the audience in the wider Church that we seek to reach. But our Center is a part of Calvin Theological Seminary where—like any number of other seminaries—we have for many years been using Paul Scott Wilson’s The Four Pages of the Sermon as our homiletical teaching method.

Many of our alumni seek to utilize the deep structure and the “grammar” of Four Pages in their weekly preaching. But some of those same pastors have asked for help in the form of sample sermons that try to wield Wilson’s model well. The manuscripts labeled Four Pages: (sermon title) are demonstrations of this model of sermon-writing. There are also sample sermons for seasonal enrichment. These are labeled with the liturgical season and sermon title.

We hope these sermons are both instructive and inspirational!

Home » Sermons » Written Sermons

Easter 5B: Fruitfulness or Productivity

Jesus says, “Remain in me as I remain in you.” To my mind, that’s one of the lousiest translations I can think of. It completely ignores the personal and spiritual dimensions of what Jesus is talking about here. In Greek, the word is menein. It’s one of the most important words in this whole gospel,…

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Proper 29A: Christ the King Sunday; Damned if You Don’t

When a teacher announces that the material for the day will appear on a test, there is usually a rustle of paper, a snap of pens, and some special attention given to the lesson for that day. The same thing is true of life. If life is merely a languid succession of days and years,…

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Palm Sunday: The Indignant Re-entry

In the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible illustrator Barry Moser provides hundreds of haunting images to accompany various Bible passages. His engraving for the Triumphal Entry captures something of this story’s essence. In the picture we see Jesus astride a little donkey colt. Jesus looks a little ridiculous riding on such a small animal–one of his bare…

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Lent 4B: Out of the Night

Few people would dispute the assertion that John 3:16 is the single most well-known verse in the Bible. Children memorize it in Sunday school, the Gideons traditionally have placed this verse on the front page of their Bibles (usually printing it in dozens of languages), missionaries often use it as the starting point for evangelism….

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Lent 3B: House Zeal

Fred Rogers, or “Mister Rogers” as we all knew and loved him, made a name for himself and became famous over the years because of his gentle spirit, warm smile, and quiet effectiveness. According to family and friends, there was actually no distinction between the Mister Rogers on the PBS television show and the real-life…

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Lent 2B: The Lenten Fork

According to that great font of wisdom, Yogi Berra, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Mark 8 is a kind of theological fork in the road. This chapter is the hinge of Mark’s gospel. Not only is this the exact middle of Mark in terms of chapters and verses, it…

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Lent 1B: Where the Spirit Leads

In a well-known sermon, the preacher Fred Craddock once said that you cannot get to Jesus without going through John the Baptist first.  Apparently even Jesus could not get to be Jesus without John, either.  Because his baptism by John in the Jordan River is included in all four of the Gospels (and that does…

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Christmas B: The Shepherds Returned

Marilynne Robinson’s lyric novel Gilead is a letter turned memoir written by Rev. John Ames, a 76-year-old pastor who lived his entire life and conducted his whole ministry in the small town of Gilead, Iowa. Rev. Ames had been widowed very early on in his life but remarried finally when he was 67 years of…

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Advent 4B: Strangers on the Earth

Those of us who are parents, grandparents, uncles, or aunts all know what it is like to watch our children when they are in the spotlight. Maybe it’s your son’s piano recital or perhaps it is your niece singing a solo at church. Maybe it’s your son at the basketball freethrow line with one-second left…

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